People who work in the animal care world hear this question all the time. It is something pretty much every dog owner has seen and scratched their head about.
The truth is that there are a few different reasons that your pooch might choose to snack on your lawn, and some of these reasons will be explained in this informative article.
To Clear Their Stomach:
One reason that gets thrown around a lot is for the dog to clear their digestive tract. The grass is not something that the canine body digests very well.This means that sometimes when grass and weeds are ingested, it is not long before that greenery resurfaces along with some of the other contents of the dog's stomach.
While this is sometimes the case, it is not always the case, or even often the case. The experts at Web Pet MD state that when dogs eat grass, it only produces vomit 1 in 4 times. If your furry friend has eaten something that he needs to repent of, then over-eating grass can help with that, so it is one answer to the age-old question. It is not, however, the only reason.
The need to clear the stomach really should not happen very often. The behavior is seen even in wild dogs, but only once in a while. Occasional grass-induced purging is nothing to worry about. If you see your dog engaging in this behavior on a regular basis, then you will know that this is something different.
The attention span of a dog is quite short. Dogs love to run and play and are very easily stimulated. Think about when puppies are left alone inside for too long unattended. It does not take long before the untrained dogs start gnawing on anything in sight. Many a shoe has met its maker for the sake of entertaining a bored pup.
This same thing kicks in outside sometimes. If your dog feels a bit bored and needs some stimulating activity, he may turn to eating what is around him, and that could include grass. Calling to your dog and throwing a stick or ball will easily shift his focus to something more entertaining. A bored dog will eat just about anything until something better to do comes along.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but dogs are no strangers to this trait either. Dogs have a yearning desire to know everything about their surroundings. This is why they analyze every sound and go nuts over new smells. The high level of curiosity is what makes dogs such effective and alert guardians.
To Satisfy Curiosity:
If you are outdoors with your dog, and he starts to munch on your landscaping, then there is a good chance that the dog is nothing more than curious. There might be a new smell or a new texture that the faithful friend is picking up, and the grass eating is simply his way of exploring.
Let your dog look around a little, but if you are worried about an ensuing mess, then simply direct his attention in another way when you are able to. If curiosity really is the reason for the vegetarian diet choice, then this will not be too hard. If, however, your dog is quite intent on gulping down more greens, some of the following more serious issues might be at play.
It Is the Result of a Disorder:
There is a medical disorder that some dogs suffer from called Pica. We will spare you the long and drawn out explanation of the disorder that includes a lot of medical jargon and state that if your dogs with Pica systematically eat things that are not food.
Many reasons have been postulated for this disorder, and it manifests itself differently in every case. Some dogs focus on clothing, some stick to plants, while some even stray to more dangerous and damaging materials like wood, metal, and chemicals.
Some dogs can be trained out of this disorder with the right obedience. Other owners are not as lucky, and just have to be very careful about what their dog can get into when they are not being supervised. Most of the time, this is not a serious issue, but it can be dangerous without the right care and control.
To Fulfill Dietary Needs:
Some dogs start eating plants because something in their body is craving the vitamins and minerals found in those plants. If your dog starts to eat grass a lot, then you might want to start looking at the labels on the dog food you are using. Read through them to see if there are any big nutritional needs not being met by your brand choice.
Another way to research this is to see what kinds of minerals are found in the type of plants your dog is attracted to. If the type of grass has a lot of fiber, then you know to look for a new dog food that has extra fiber. If the plant is high in calcium, then you can try to find a choice that will offer some extra calcium for your dog in a safer way.
If you have chosen an excellent dog food with all the necessary nutrients for your dog to stay healthy, then it might be a good idea to schedule a visit with a vet. They can run some quick tests to see if there are any issues or disorders causing the deficiency.
For instance, a hidden trick could be taking a lot of blood and thus creating an iron deficiency. This is something a vet can find and remedy right away, so you and your dog can go on with your lives sans grass snacks.
Your Dog Likes Grass:
In some cases, vets are saying that some dogs just like grass. The smell, the texture, and the taste are all rather appealing to some dogs. If your four-legged friend loves to roll around in your yard just after you have mowed the lawn, then this could be the reason for your pet. He eats the grass because he likes it, regardless of whether or not it is good for him.